Meal planning tips for those who don’t plan meals!

I will start this post by saying that I suck in meal planning. Big time. And it’s not that I don’t care what my family eats. I have three kids that I really want to be strong and healthy. How motherly of me, huh? But it is such a fuss!

You need to sit down, think (!), get a headache, make a list (that one I actually like!) to take with you to the groceries (that one I don’t like at all), then you need to cook and be consistent and do it all according to a schedule blaaaah I am tired already.

Is it really necessary? Are you saving money doing that?! Well, yes you do. Last week I was cleaning the fridge – the amount of food I needed to throw out because it was no longer eatable, would be enough for one and a half dinner for my whole family.

Don’t ask me how did it happen! That is the most shameful part of it – I don’t know. It was some leftovers that were in cute containers in the back of the fridge. You know, the forgotten part of the fridge.

The turning point for me

No more wasted food. Too many hungry people on this planet. I need a plan. Do I like that I need to do it? No. But I will. Especially since I read that sentence below!

Rosie from thismomlifebyrosie.com

wrote a post about simplifying mom’s life, but it’s not minimalism that touched me. It’s this little, innocent part:

We hardly eat out and spend more time meal prepping to stay healthy and set a good example for our kids. You can read more here.

OMG! I haven’t thought about it this way. That is soooo true! Children observe us all the time. I have to be organized and I need to plan my meals. There is no turning back now.

Kiddos are watching!

I’m doomed.

Pinterest killed me. Do you know how many stuff about meal planning is there? Don’t even check, it’s overwhelming. But that’s an advantage of the blogging world. You say loudly in your Facebook groups that you need help and that’s what you get!

 

Here are amazing tips from other moms who are awesome in what they do

 

Brittni from brittniclarkson.wordpress.com :

I don’t bother planning breakfasts or lunches because it’s so much easier not to. I make sure I always have the basics on hand though. (…) For dinner, I do plan out at least 5 meals each week, and have two nonperishable options (pasta or a frozen premade meal). And if I truly want to be successful with my plan, they are not locked in with a specific meal for a specific day. I do write them as if they are, but I am always open to changing things up midweek, and you should be too. Things happen, and sometimes its best to make adjustments. Don’t be too tied down to your plans that they start hurting more than helping. Read more! 

Krystle from former thebeekeeper.blog:

Each night is a different theme with a different dish to go along with it. I try to use a different dish each week, but the same themes on the same day to keep myself organized.I meal plan on Thursday night, shop for and order my groceries, then schedule pick up for Fridays. So our schedule starts on a Friday.

 

Cassandra from vivfitness.com

She is a nutrition coach and she knows her stuff !! She’s sharing her lists 

(…) you will find ALLL of the foods I keep stocked in my fridge, freezer, and pantry AND then I’m sharing the meals I make with them. Check it out here!

 

Kate from ahundredaffections.com:

That was finally how I could meal plan – my Google calendar!!! I was always looking up recipes on Pinterest or online, but I didn’t want to do the work of filling out a paper calendar. Using this method, all I had to do put the link in my calendar, and I was set up as far out as I wanted to plan.(…) This system is seamless for anyone who goes paperless when cooking and mostly uses online recipes. And it’s so easy!
Follow the 6 steps listed
, and you are seriously good to go!

 

Kiersten from hikinginmyflipflops.com

She tells us her secret hacks to prep the food earlier so that we can avoid pre-packaged food, fast food and have less clean up later! Win-win!

Example:

Chicken
Poach, grill, or cook chicken in a skillet. I don’t usually season the chicken with anything other than salt and pepper, which gives me more options for recipes, but seasoning is always a welcome addition. Shred, chop, or cube cooked chicken and store in freezer.
Meal Ideas: Not only can you add chicken to soups and salads, but it’s also a great protein for sandwiches, wraps, and quesadillas. Check more tips like that here!

 

 

Have you ever heard about freezer meals?

Camille from positivelifechangewithfitness.com:

By creating your foundation this will help you shorten the time it takes to pick out your meal, create your grocery list, and do the grocery shopping!
Find out more! 

 

Any Lu from MakingMotherhoodMatter.com:

To make meal planning easier, I have created index cards with my favorite recipe ingredients on them and where to find the recipe (Pinterest, cookbook, magazine, etc.). This makes weekly meal planning so much easier because over time I have built up a large number of meals my family enjoys. If I try a new recipe and we like it, I add it to my index cards. This also helps me as I plan out all of my meals for the week. It typically takes me 10 minutes or less each week. That way I know exactly what I need to get from the store, what I need to defrost each morning, and keeps things simple by taking any guess work out of dinner plans each day. I will sometimes even use an excel table with breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I can plan the meals for the week. Get her meal plans here! 

 

And for a dessert a tip from

Dâmares Lima who blogs at howtomarryamillionaire.fr

I always struggled with my eating habits: I never liked to eat much, I didn’t eat healthy and I’ve always been underweight even now. I started to care more about it lately after being constantly sick and ending up in hospitals and worrying about the example I would be giving to my daughter. So I decided to change, it has been a slow adaptation but what I’ve been doing is what the recommended is: to eat colorful varieties, at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day, a specific amount of calories and nutrients and so on. So I basically count whether I had eaten all I should by given time in the day and if I didn’t yet, I eat right away. The meal planning is supposed to be done the same way, I know the kind of specific needs my body have daily and which foods would provide what, and then I alternate them between meals and days.
The easiest (and fastest) tip for a better diet, for me, has been to eat natural snacks throughout the day, such as fruits.

 

What are your tricks?

Do you have a meal planning system that works perfectly?

Share with me in the comments!

 

Sharing is caring, Mama!

8 comments

  1. Ana says:

    Meal planning is so helpful for not wasting food! Loved reading your post and how real you are about your meal planning goals. I am on the same boat!

  2. Michelle says:

    I hate, hate, hate meal planning. One of my best tricks is to ask each kid to suggest something. That’s three nights I don’t have to think of what to make, more if they’ve got a lot of ideas.

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